Analysis of NCLT Judgement in Andhra Bank vs. Sterling Biotech Ltd.

Resolution Professional was entitled to hold the meetings and take a decision on CIRP within the statutory period and after the expiry of 270 days, any such decision cannot be taken by the Resolution Professional.

Section 12 of IBC specifically provides that CIRP shall be completed within 180 days from the date of admission of the application to initiate the said process. Further power has been given to extend the period under Section 12(3) of the Code, which provides that Adjudicating Authority may extend the period of CIRP beyond 180 days, i.e. 90 days, for completion of CIRP, where the process cannot be completed within 180 days.

Since not a single day was wasted on account of pendency of the application for withdrawal of CP, and the period of CIRP ended on 8.3.2019, therefore after completion of the statutory period as provided under the Code, permission cannot be granted to RP to hold the meeting of CoC and take important decision in any of the matter.

The RP has filed this application under Section 60(5) of IBC and sought permission to continue in his capacity as RP in order to carry on the business of the Corporate Debtor as a going concern with support of the Advisors of the Legal Counsel and other Advisors and further sought the permission to act as RP and to convene the meeting of the CoC to discuss certain important matter with respect to the Corporate Debtor cannot be permitted after completion of CIRP period.

It is pertinent to mention that after initiation of CIRP, we have not restrained the RP in discharging his duties. The CIRP continued till the end of CIRP period i.e. 8th March 2019. If no resolution was approved within the statutory period for completion of CIRP, then he should have acted as per the provisions of the Code.

However, despite that even after the expiry of the statutory period for completion of CIRP, RP has sought permission to complete the CIRP. The statutory period provided for completion of CIRP cannot be extended beyond 270 days. The RP was entitled to hold the meetings and take a decision on CIRP within the statutory period. After the expiry of 270 days, any such decision cannot be taken by the RP.

Judgement link : https://nclt.gov.in/sites/default/files/Interim-order-pdf/Andhra%20Bank%20CP%20490%20of%202018%20NCLT%20on%205.4.2019%20Interim.pdf